Relationships and COPD
Relationships began when each of us was born and we will have relationships throughout our lives. Throughout our lives, we may encounter these relationships: being a child; being a parent; being a student and maybe a teacher. Being an employee and maybe a store owner. Being a date; being married, and maybe divorced. Maybe liking someone. Maybe you’re in love.
Relationships with COPD
Having COPD can affect you and your relationships in many ways. Making plans to do things that periodically have to be changed or canceled, because of COPD and stamina. On those “down days” I know that I’ve had to cancel. This is why it can be hard to make plans ahead of time. We do try though.
You both may have realized that things weren't this way when you met, or when you began dating. Not even when you moved in together or got married.
About 5 years after my husband and I got married, things changed. I changed. No longer could l go hiking, hunting or fishing. It was a struggle dealing with the dust from gravel roads and fields. Fishing should be easy, yet the humidity can be so overwhelming. We couldn't visit others because of air fresheners, etc that leave lingering smells in the house and people couldn't come in wearing their colognes, gels, and so many other smellies. So often I wonder if I've made him a prisoner. He always says no.
We can’t go back to the way things were and that is hard. Yet each and every day it’s important to get to know each other all over again. It can happen.
I feel that my husband and I are closer than ever. We make more of an effort to do things that we can both do at that time, be it watching TV, going for a ride, or even cooking together. We have found that if we improvise, there are fewer limitations:
- Instead of going to a movie theater, rent an online movie. You can make popcorn, pop or soda, the movie types of candies or even the giant pickles. The extra bonus is the money you can save.
- Instead of eating out, you can order online or via the phone. Then have your food delivered or you pick up. Sometimes the smells in restaurants can cause a reaction, so be sure to keep your inhaler with you. Sure at home there are dishes, but so less than there would be if one of you cooked at home. And how much sweeter can that be! You don't have to change clothes or spend time over the hot stove or whatever you would cook.
- We have a tic-tac-toe game on the kitchen table every so often. It’s fun to play the best two out of three before we eat. We are both somewhat competitive. Card games can be fun too.
- Going for rides are so fun and relaxing. We talk, see the sites, take some pictures and share memories or dreams. Never give up the dreams!
- Even with our COPD and other lung issues, we can create things that we can do together. It hasn’t always been easy, and all we can do is the best that we can.
- Sometimes it might feel like we are reinventing our relationship. It might even feel like we are reinventing ourselves. In a sense we are, because we can’t do things the way you used to do.
- Yes, you can likely have sex. You might have to find a find a comfortable position and take it easy. If you have any concerns, do talk to your doctor.
This topic really touches me, because it likely affects many of us. We would really like to hear your thoughts and ideas.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to COPD?